The Signs of the Times (25): Chosen

editor - 9 December 2018

‘…The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors…’
Deuteronomy 7:7-8

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loves Israel. The secret lies in the Father Heart of God. You cannot explain love. The Lord has chosen Israel as His inheritance, His firstborn son. To be a blessing in the midst of the earth. To reveal Himself to the nations of the world through them. Israel, a people set apart. God loves because He loves. He chooses because He chooses, taking the reasons for that from within Himself.

Emphatically He calls Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And right from the beginning this cuts off other nations that also descended from Abraham. Cause Abraham had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael. The Arab nations claim that they are descendants of Ishmael. And probably rightly so. And there are certainly great promises for Ishmael and his descendants in scripture.

Genesis 17: 20-21 says: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”
In short: Ishmael will become a great nation with great blessings, but the everlasting Covenant(s) are made with Isaac and his descendants. The problem in the Middle East is not that you are a Jew or an Arab. One got the Covenants, the other got the Blessing. The problem is that the descendants of Ishmael for the major part have fallen into the hands of another god, who goes by the name of Allah. But Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Allah is another god who hates both Jews and Christians.

The Lord has exceedingly well kept His promise to Ishmael. There are more than twenty Arab States, with around 200 to 300 million Arabs, who live on about 5.3 million square miles of oil-rich land. Israel, on the other hand, has about 6 million residents, who live in an area of only 8000 square miles (without oil, although gas fields have been found in the Mediterranean Sea!). This means that the Israeli populations is about 35 times smaller than the Arab population. And Israeli territory is 22 times smaller than Arab territory. The Lord always keeps His promises. To the Arab nations as well.

The nations of the world, descending from the sons of Noah, go their own way through history. From one of the descendants of Shem, Abraham, the Lord created and has chosen His own people. To them He promised a land, He promised to make into them into a great nation, and He promised that through that nation all the nations of the world would be blessed.

The Promise to Abraham from Genesis 12:1-3 says: “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”

It could happen that Israel temporarily had to leave their land (as during the Babylonian and Roman exiles), but in the end they will be planted in their own land, never again to be uprooted. So this is how Amos concludes his prophecies: “[…] and I will bring My people Israel back from exile. ‘They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine. They will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” (Amos 9:14-15)


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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